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Colorado Democratic Lawmakers Pick First Gay House Speaker

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Rep. Mark Ferrandino (credit: CBS)

Rep. Mark Ferrandino (credit: CBS)

DENVER (AP) – Colorado Democrats have elected the first openly gay House speaker in state history.

Democratic lawmakers picked Denver Rep. Mark Ferrandino on Thursday to lead the House, which they re-took in this week’s election. His election won’t be official until lawmakers reconvene in January and Republicans ratify the pick.

Democrats kept control of the Senate. They chose Sen. John Morse of El Paso County to be the new president. Morse was majority leader under the last president, who is leaving because of term limits.

Democrats hope to pass civil unions legislation next year to grant same-sex couples rights similar to marriage. In-state tuition for illegal immigrants could also be on the agenda.

House Republicans picked Rep. Mark Waller to be their minority leader. Bill Cadman will be Republican leader in the Senate.

mark ferrendino Colorado Democratic Lawmakers Pick First Gay House Speaker

Rep. Mark Ferrendino talks with CBS4’s Jennifer Brice on Election Night. (credit: CBS)

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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